Resistance: Civilian Resistance
Date:1971
Organisation:Sinn Féin [Official]
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Commentary From The Cedar Lounge Revolution

25th February 2013

Many thanks to Alan Mac Simoin for scanning and forwarding this document to the Archive.

Unusually there’s no clear provenance of this document. It mentions the Civil Rights Movement, People’s Democracy and the Republican Movement, and the cover is obviously taken from the famous Joe McCann ‘Army of the People’ photograph from the Official IRA. That said it appears to have been written by NICRA or PD members and any clarification on it would be very welcome.

It was written in the wake of internment and before the suspension of Stormont in March 1972. As such it calls for the end of internment on foot of what it considers to be a mobilisation of the people. It also focusses on Crossmaglen and gives a detailed list of activities in that area such as protests, barricades and other forms of opposition to the state. There’s also a ‘Jail Journal’ reprinted from the Irish Times which consists of a personal account by Seamus O Tuathail, former editor of the OSF United Irishman and his experiences in Crumlin Road Prison.

The document also states the aims of the groups that it represents, most important of which is the establishment of a ‘democratic assembly’ and that:

The Assembly would be organised on a 32-county basis, and would lay the foundation for an all-Ireland democratic republic in the tradition of Tone, Connolly and the 1916 Proclamation.

Update:

Many thanks to the person who emailed to say the following: –

‘Resistance’ is the product of cooperation at a local (Newry) level between PD and the Officials. Sam Dowling was NICRA and Official republican, Niall Vallely was PD. Note how Dowling was the speaker at the protest in Crossmaglen after Harry Thornton’s death; the idea of Crossmaglen as a Provo stronghold dates from after 1971. Shows how flux things were at that stage- later that year PD would become more PRM inclined (though former PD members joined both Provos and Officials).

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  • By: WorldbyStorm Mon, 25 Feb 2013 22:37:55

    Many thanks to the person who emailed to say the following: –

    ‘Resistance’ is the product of cooperation at a local (Newry) level between PD and the Officials. Sam Dowling was NICRA and Official republican, Niall Vallely was PD. Note how Dowling was the speaker at the protest in Crossmaglen after Harry Thornton’s death; the idea of Crossmaglen as a Provo stronghold dates from after 1971. Shows how flux things were at that stage- later that year PD would become more PRM inclined (though former PD members joined both Provos and Officials).

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  • By: anarchaeologist Tue, 26 Feb 2013 12:28:46

    I’ve just spent the weekend at a conference in Derry where we visited the Free Derry Museum in the Bogside. Well worth a look if you’re in the city.

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  • By: Florrie O'Donoghue Tue, 26 Feb 2013 14:11:47

    It is interesting how quickly the misquoted ‘cannot stand idly by’ became an accepted term in referring to events in the north.

    The shooting dead of Harry Thornton certainly seems to be a watershed in the growth of the Provisional IRA in south Armagh; although the deaths of the two RUC men, Donaldson and Millar, almost exactly a year prior are often attributed to that organisation.

    Is mise srl.,

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  • By: Joe Tue, 26 Feb 2013 14:49:00

    Samuel Donaldson and Robert Millar.

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  • By: Florrie O'Donoghue Tue, 26 Feb 2013 16:30:23

    No disrespect intended in shortening their names.

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  • By: Joe Tue, 26 Feb 2013 16:47:31

    Thanks Florrie.

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